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The Bat Audiobook
The Bat
Written by: 
Jo Nesbo
Narrated by: 
Sean Barrett
The Bat Audiobook

The Bat: A Harry Hole Thriller, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

The thrilling first book in the best-selling Harry Hole series, never before published in English.

Harry is out of his depth.

Detective Harry Hole is meant to keep out of trouble. A young Norwegian girl taking a gap year in Sydney has been murdered, and Harry has been sent to Australia to assist in any way he can.

He's not supposed to get too involved.

When the team unearths a string of unsolved murders and disappearances, nothing will stop Harry from finding out the truth. The hunt for a serial killer is on, but the murderer will talk only to Harry.

He might just be the next victim.

Appearing in English for the first time, The Bat is the legendary first novel from the worldwide phenomenon Jo Nesbo.

©2012 Jo Nesbo (P)2012 Random House Audiobooks

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (1090 )
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3.9 (928 )
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Story
4.1 (938 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Stevon Tempe, AZ, United States 11-23-12
    Stevon Tempe, AZ, United States 11-23-12 Member Since 2015

    I love books!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "the first Harrry"

    This is one of those series where you first listen to the author, like the story, and realize you are starting somewhere in the middle. I've listened to all of them since that first one and enjoyed them all immensely but then audible releases the original first book. I decided I had to try it to see what I could learn of Harry Hole's beginnings. Often times authors get better with time. "The Bat" started kind of slowly but from the time Harry went on a bender and still thinking through the case while there, the book too off and the Nesbo I've learned to be a great fan of was right there. I do wonder why he picked Australia as the setting for his first Hole novel as all the other ones I've listened to were set in Norway. Harry has his demons for sure but you feel empathy as he unravels the mystery. Can't wait for the next one!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    stl1111 La Grande, OR, United States 10-22-12
    stl1111 La Grande, OR, United States 10-22-12 Member Since 2014

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not the Usual Nesbo"
    What disappointed you about The Bat?

    I've listened to all of the other Nesbo books and had been curious about the first one since there have been so many references to the serial killer Harry caught in Australia. Nesbo must have gotten better as he wrote more books. This book was was filled with interesting Aboriginal legends but they didn't really apply to the story. The story wasn't believable. There were too many flashbacks to his previous relationship. The reader was ok, but not red hot. He doesn't do a very believable "drunk". All in all, I was sorry I bought this one and I love that Audible lets me return books I don't like.


    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Van Melkbosstrand, South Africa 11-10-13
    Van Melkbosstrand, South Africa 11-10-13
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    "Excellent fresh novel"
    What did you love best about The Bat?

    The story was modern and approached in quite a different way.


    What other book might you compare The Bat to and why?

    Any Robotham novel. The stories unfolds in the same way.


    What does Sean Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He is one of the best in the business!!!!!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Harry returning to alcohol.


    Any additional comments?

    Fantastic book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Garry Cannington, Australia 08-08-13
    Garry Cannington, Australia 08-08-13 Member Since 2014

    I work in IT, I love reading, I love Writing and for those daily travels too and fro I love to listen to Audible books too

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant, just brilliant"
    What made the experience of listening to The Bat the most enjoyable?

    As an Australian I was amazed with the depth of knowledge shown of Australian, if not Aboriginal history, dream time stories, Australian history that made this story shine out, especially when written by a Norwegian. Well Done. How the author wove in each chapter title to the story, and kept me listening was great.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Harry of course, a damaged star.


    What about Sean Barrett’s performance did you like?

    Very good, voices not so bad but still very good.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Intrepid, determined, out of his zone and drunk, the killer never had a chance


    Any additional comments?

    A great story, it has now made me want the rest, in fact number 3 is already purchased. A gripe, why is number 2 not available? But a minor gripe as time will I hope bring it to me. I really want to listen to more, especially with this writer and performer collaboration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States 02-24-13
    Steven ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States 02-24-13 Member Since 2014

    Lover of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery, and westerns in all media, including old-time radio dramatizations.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    192
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    "Ready for the next in the series"

    The Harry Hole character reminds me a little of Jesse Stone. He's definitely not your squeaky-clean hero. This series was recommended to me by someone who saw that I enjoyed Stieg Larsson's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and its sequels, and I'm grateful that he did. The summary is that it was worth the credit, but I'm not yet hooked and pining for the next book. I've purchased the next available audio book, number 3 in the series. We'll see how it goes. If I don't get a little more out of it, Harry may have to go on the shelf for a while.

    Keep in mind, when reading my opinions, that darkish detective fiction is not really my thing, so I don't have a lot to compare Nesbo's work. I thought it was solid believable fiction, and, like Larsson's, very well translated. It felt like it was written for native english speakers. In a number of parts, I was amazed see that the humor translates well. Someone did a great job. Sean Barrett's performance of the various accents was very good, but the voice of Harry never quite fit the character for me. Other reviewers have stated a preference for another reader as Harry, but as this is my first in the series, I can't say. Sometimes, when the reader of a series changes, the new one doesn't get a fair chance. We (fans) like of character's voices to stay the same.

    If you like the genre, give Harry a spin. You won't regret the credit, and may get to really like him.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tarja Layliainen, Finland 01-28-13
    Tarja Layliainen, Finland 01-28-13 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Nearly perfect"
    Any additional comments?

    It's a crime story with a victim/s and "who-did-it" but as such it is 95 % perfect. Sean Barrett does a great job narrating.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 12-19-12
    A Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 12-19-12 Member Since 2012
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    "First in series--good, not great"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I love the Harry Hole series and was pleased to see the first in the series finally available. This story isn't as macabre as the other Harry Hole books, but it provides glimpses into Harry's life before he becomes completely jaded. Worth the listen for Nesbo fans.


    If you’ve listened to books by Jo Nesbo before, how does this one compare?

    I prefer the latter books but was glad I read this one.


    Which character – as performed by Sean Barrett – was your favorite?

    All the Australian accents were spot on.


    Do you think The Bat needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Definitely written as a part of a series.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scarlet 12-09-12
    Scarlet 12-09-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narration"
    Would you listen to The Bat again? Why?

    I missed the voice of Robin Sachs, Sean Baarett's voice took something away from the book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The twist and turns of the mystery.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary McKinney 11-02-12 Member Since 2016

    Ph.D. Psychologist and Coach

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Wonderful Beginning to a Great Series"

    I loved hearing the backstory of Harry Hole after reading all of the later books. The narrator was an unfortunate choice because most of the characters are Australian and he can only occasionally provide a sentence or two of a passable Aussie accent. This weakness detracted from the listening experience to the point I wished I'd read instead of listened to the novel. The plot is engaging, with lots of fun twists, although it falls apart a bit at the end. The romance is a nice plot line as well -- but has many weaknesses towards the end of the book. Nesbo does a great job explaining and showing sides of Australia and the tales told in the book are delightful.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Chester, VT, United States 10-22-12
    John Chester, VT, United States 10-22-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Keep them coming"
    What made the experience of listening to The Bat the most enjoyable?

    Great storytelling and perhaps the most complex protagonist since Sherlock himself. Nesbo's Hole, however you pronounce it, sees all even through the tragic alcohol haze he inevitably falls prey to. The plot is never predictable, the characters are never one dimensional and the writing is crisp and with the right balance of humour and gritty reality.


    What other book might you compare The Bat to and why?

    Obviously the rest of the Hole thrillers, without being as formulaic as most of the successful writers of the genre. But I like the comparison to Martin Cruz Smith's Arkady Renko. Both protagonists persevere despite corruption, incompetence and fatal character flaws.


    Which character – as performed by Sean Barrett – was your favorite?

    It was hard at first to listen without the bass, sober voice of the perfectly matched Robin Sachs. He seems to bring a little more gravitas to the characterization. But Sean Barrett is on my top five narrator's list, and with his ability with accents, was able to bring out the personalities of the secondary players, particularly the Aborigines. So that after the first few chapters, it mattered not a wit.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The great white Harry ...down under.


    Any additional comments?

    What a pleasant surprise so soon after the release of The Phantom. I hope the plan is to bring all of Nesbo's work to audioland, there is no one better out there. Keep them coming, but make sure it is Sachs or Barrett doing the storytelling.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Mr. M. Curtis
    Bristol UK
    3/15/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Need more dysfunctional and tortured detectives?"

    Well if you do come and meet Harry Hole...

    Harry is a great character that you warm to instantly, The story set with him out of his comfort zone adds to the torment for the lead, but he works his way through and grows more powerful as the story twists and turns.

    You won't be disappointed, this feels like another friend I've added to my private club as me Mr Reacher and Rebus meet Jack Ryan and Harry at this years AGM...

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Murfsinpudsey
    3/5/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gripping from beginning to end..."

    Superb story, stunningly read, looking forward to his next effort in the Harry Hole series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • toveyc1
    2/14/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "No Hollywood endings here..... Refreshing change."

    This was nicely read by the narrator, the right tone and tempo. I enjoyed the folktales within the story. I would have marked this higher had it not been for the cliché of a detective with alcohol issues. If you read a lot of crime books, it can start to get tedious, although give the author their due, it felt more realistic as far as that goes. I'm also glad they didn't go Hollywood with the content (well may be a tiny bit at the end) I think I'll be sticking around for book 2 😊

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    2/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "worth a listen"

    my first book by this author, good plot, learned a lot about Aussie culture! will probably read more

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Boston, United Kingdom
    8/16/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Boring"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Not sure, it was very slow and rather dull.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Jo Nesbo? Why or why not?

    No, there are too many books out there without wasting time on ones I find dull.


    What didn’t you like about Sean Barrett’s performance?

    Every voice was pretty much the same. He tried an Australian accent at times but gave up half way through the lines. One conversation between a man and a woman had the same voice for each so I couldn't tell who was talking.


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I didn't finish it so don't know if got better later on, I managed about 3 hours but gave up.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Rachel A. Jones
    UK
    7/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Entertaining"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Bat to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version but enjoyed the audio


    Would you be willing to try another book from Jo Nesbo? Why or why not?

    Other books have good reviews. The Australian context seemed odd for a Scandinavian writer. I think I'd prefer to meet Harry Hole on home turf.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    There was no single scene that stood out.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The book isn't particularly moving but is entertaining.


    Any additional comments?

    The narration is good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Florence
    UK
    3/20/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gets better"
    Would you listen to The Bat again? Why?

    Probably not, would rather read the next in the series.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Bat?

    About half way through when I suddenly got hooked, I'd been struggling a bit and almost gave up. I guess this is because I didn't really know the characters, Harry in particular as this is the first in the series. However, as I grew to know him and his past I warmed to him. Also I started to 'hear' what they were saying clearer, the Australian/Scandanavian accents were a bit confusing at first despite Sean Barrett's excellent narration.


    What does Sean Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    I've got to know his voice from my addiction to Michael Robotham's books. I love his voice, the pace of his narration, the way he can step into different characters and make them believable. Part of why I bought this book in the first place was because he was the narrator.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    ...and the Killer Whale


    Any additional comments?

    Very glad I didn't give up, really enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to the next in the series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    Crediton, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Good find"

    I am new to Jo Nesbo and am pleased to have taken the plunge. Very well narrated, all the characters were very real and I became attached to them early on. Quite a compulsive listen and am now planing on continuing the series as Harry is unexpectedly endearing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Louise
    St Martins, United Kingdom
    1/16/13
    Overall
    "Excellent"

    Really great read and was impressed with the researched and details of the aboriginal history within the book. Great story that kept me gripped. Harry Hole is a likable character.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • paul
    WORTHING, United Kingdom
    7/23/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "why all the unnecessary profanity ?"

    I swear, my mum says a lot and still slaps me for it still but found the gratuitous profanity and thuggery too much here as if it was written by some one trying to imagine what its like to be working class of limited vocabulary and low education . not convincing sorry . 'kin rubbish actually

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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